Happy Birthday, Carine! Toast to 11 of Her Most Fearless Moments

Happy birthday, Carine! The woman with a job title more confusing than Alexa Chung’s turning 59 today.

You know you’re a true muse to have 20-somethings risking premature rosacea by sleeping in their makeup to get that perfect Parisian DGAF eye, or chancing permanent claw toes because wearing heels at all times gives you power. And, groundbreaking fashion work aside, it’s her championing of crop tops and minimal exercise that really makes us love her.

As the woman herself is off topping best-dressed lists in Milan, slip on a pencil skirt, pour yourself a vodka and toast to 11 of her most fearless moments. Warning: You might need a top-up to get all the way through.


1. Featuring 13 images of Karen Elson bound with curtain cord for the January 2007 issue of Vogue Paris. The public was shocked, Carine merely called it ‘bondage glamor’.



2. This shoot for the April 2009 issue of French Vogue, showing Lily Donaldson smoking, wearing skyscraper Prada heels and looking realistically weirded out about tending to her make-believe infant child.

In response to the predictable backlash, Carine pointed out the ‘No Smoking sign’. We’d also like to point out that the fact Lily was dating Carine’s son Vladmir Restoin-Roitfeld at the time is probably more concerning than the cigarette.


3. Putting her favorite model Lara Stone in blackface for Vogue Paris in 2009. Maybe they finally realized the offensiveness of this shoot halfway through, because the makeup artist later painted half her body white again.


4. This quote about Anna Wintour, in response to rumors she was heading to the boob-deprived American edition of Vogue:

She’s a politician; I’m a stylist. They are two very different jobs. Incidentally, despite all the rumors, she is actually very nice.

We don’t know which part of this double-edged word sword would piss Anna off more.


5. This statement about fur, given in the same interview. We do question the extent of Mrs. Roitfeld’s knowledge of the skinning industry, but do enjoy envisioning her making a face full of pie look chic:

“I once had a series of photos about fur; but, in these politically correct times, you can’t even go out on the street in New York or London without getting a pie thrown in your face. The photos showed extras holding up posters of animal rights activists. It was meant to be ironic, but unfortunately not everyone got it. Why can’t we wear the animals we also eat, such as sheep and rabbits?”



6. Letting her PIC Tom Ford guest edit an issue of French Vogue in 2010. Among the things he did, with Carine’s go-ahead (or, most likely, encouragement): Putting then-10-year-old Thylane Blondeau in a full face of makeup for the controversial ‘Cadeaux‘, ventured into the wild ‘Pussy West‘ with Terry Richardson and shot an elderly Clarissa & Doug in the midst of a very steamy make-out session.


7. Models eating food!


8. Admitting to The Telegraph that she used to piss behind cars (and still thinks you can look chic while doing so):

“When I was going in nightclubs there were cameras in the toilets looking to see if you were taking drugs, so I said, ‘OK, I will never go to pee in the toilet in a nightclub’. I will always prefer to go to pee behind a car. We took a picture like this. It was reality for me. It is important to have a sense of humour and always with a certain chic. Even if the girl is peeing behind a car, she is doing it with a chic attitude.”


9. Leaving French Vogue to face rumors of being fired, dispel rumors about heading to the glossy’s American counterpart and admit that she didn’t really have any big projects in the pipeline.


10. Launching her CR Fashion Book, for had she not done so we would not have been given this aggressively amazing shoot starring Kim Kardashian in grillz. We also would be at a total loss as to how to style our Home Depot painter jumpsuits.


11. Subtly burning the New York Fashion Week runways before saying she liked the street style. Is it weird that this somehow made us like her even more?


Related links:

Crystal Renn Gets Gluttonous for Vogue Paris

Tom Ford’s French Vogue Has Geriatric Porn

NYFW: Carine Roitfeld on New York Street Style and ‘Twisting’

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